Felipe VI and Queen Elizabeth II
These are challenging times for royals. Spain got a new king, but amid a tough economy, Felipe VI’s installation was decidedly low-key; there was no state banquet, and no heads of state on hand. Felipe declared “the start of a renewed monarchy for a new time.” In Britain, on a visit to the set of HBO’s hit TV show Game of Thrones, Queen Elizabeth II checked out the famed Iron Throne, but—perhaps mindful of poor optics—declined to sit. “She kept commenting on how uncomfortable [it] looked,” actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, told the Belfast Telegraph. Only a monarch could really know.
Following Tim Hudak’s rejection by Ontario voters, the provincial Tories need a new leader, and Elliott, who represents the Whitby-Oshawa riding, is first to throw her hat in the ring. The widow of federal finance minister Jim Flaherty, who died in April, says her husband would have been supportive: “It’s something that Jim always wanted me to do.” When critics questioned whether she’s “too nice” to win, Elliott shot back, “I’m a lot tougher than people think.”
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson
After being acquitted in the British phone-hacking trial, Brooks, the former News of the World editor, declared herself “vindicated.” Her successor (and, as the trial revealed, former lover), Coulson, was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones and faces up to two years in prison; he’ll be retried on two other charges after the jury failed to reach a verdict. The eight-month trial was as sensational as the tabloid it centred on: Jude Law and Sienna Miller were among those who testified.
Fired “for cause” as CEO of American Apparel, the Canadian businessman is fighting back against the company he created. A self-proclaimed “dirty guy,” Charney was ousted amid employees’ accusations of sexual harassment and the company’s ongoing financial woes. On June 27, Charney disclosed that he’d partnered with investment firm Standard General LP to increase his 27 per cent stake in the company—prompting the board to adopt a shareholder rights plan (a poison pill defence) designed to prevent him from seizing control.
James Franco and Seth Rogen
Fresh off their music video parody of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian—Franco rides a motorcycle, straddled by a topless Rogen—the actors have found a new target: Kim Jong Un. Unlike West, who reportedly loved their take on his song, the volatile North Korean leader has called their upcoming film an “act of war.” The Interview, which stars Rogen and Franco as two unlikely CIA recruits tasked with assassinating the dictator, has provoked a “gust of hatred and rage” among the North Korean people and military, a spokesman said. Vancouver-born Rogen tweeted, “People don’t usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they’ve paid 12 bucks for it.”